Tuesday, September 23, 2008

More about Born of the Heart

Several years ago, when my husband and I decided to foster, we knew no other foster families. The more we got into the fostering, the more we met other families. Of course, not all of them shared our beliefs and values and we found that hanging out at agency functions were tolerable at best. So we fostered alone for the most part.

The only fairly sane foster family we knew had parented several of the children in our house. Being severly RAD, this caused a LOT of conflict when we would socialize. So, we didn't. Again, we were doing it alone, with the help of one sane SW. We dealt with many a SW(social worker) but for the most part, they were no help at all.

So, year after year of not having a mutual understanding with anyone. Yes, six year olds can lie about whether or not they've eaten today. You don't have to declare a state of emergency at the school so that he can eat alone, in the cafeteria, with the lunch ladies, and get extra attention that reinforces the fact that he has a mean foster mommy. I decided that I needed more, and there was no more out there at the time, so I made it up.

That's how I got Born of the Heart. I wanted to substantiate that these children are labored into our families just as painfully as laboring a child from your womb. Different, but the same. Yes, maybe the actual acquisition of a child is 'pain free' but there is so much else pain involved with adoption that goes unrecognized and unsupported.

Whether you decide to adopt because of fertility issues, or because there are kids out there who need it, you are going to have things come up that others just don't understand. Also, as women, we like to talk about it, hash out every little detail, mull over what we did, how it worked, how it didn't, what we'd do better next time, and on and on.... I found that my husband doesn't. Not that he's distant and disconnected. He just doesn't feel the need to. So, I figured a women's group would be the perfect avenue.

Also, our church is a mega church. There are many, many adoptive families. Our pastor has adopted internationally. Worship leaders and small group leaders, we are just a church that is very touched by adoption, and sharing that experience is something that I wanted. So, last year I started this group, the blog followed because it was a good way to communicate our happenings to the group. Then I found the joys of bloggy world and got a whole new community in addition to our group.

One of the other foster mommy's is a frequent visitor here, but we had not met until this past weekend. Another foster family was in a legal battle for their son when we met. I don't know how helpful we were, but we were there to support them through getting the child who'd been with them for 18 months returned to their home and adopted. Another thing we've helped people with is educating them on the different 'incentives' that are available to them as adoptive parents. With private and international adoptions you can write off the actual expenses, when you adopt through the foster system, you get a rebate whether or not you incurred any actual expenses. Many people have not been properly educated on this matter. Many know about the Medicaid benefits and decide not to take them, not realizing the long term implications. That is something I've researched and have helped others with.

So, this is why we're here. To support each other through our journeys as parents of children who didn't come out of our bodies. Be it the paperwork, the legal matters, the parenting issues, or just having someone understand that you are not a crazy foster mommy who doesn't "ever" feed her babies. And to share the joys that are unique to us as well.


hsmomma5 said...

I am new to your blog but I want to say Thank You. Your post today was very encouraging to me. I am adoptive mom of five children from foster care. (One that I suspect is RAD.) I like the way you put it about laboring for these children. It offends me to hear people say that I have it 'easy' because I never had babies.

BrutallyHonest said...

We are so happy to have "met" you. It's nice have someone to hash things out with!

By the way, will you do a post on the incentives (financial and so forth) of adopting? I would love to hear what you have to say.

Maury said...

I found you through sugar and spice. I am also a foster mom. New at it though. We have been foster parents for about 6 weeks, and have 3 new children, along with our 3 bio children. I can tell you, there were many things about this "labor" that was much hard than anything I went through with my first 3 children born to me. But it is all worth it.

I am going to have to check out that about the subsidies too, although we are a LONG way from that point.